Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Gaja expected to strike today

Aerial view of Marina Inner Ring Road.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

Parts of coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will begin to get widespread rainfall from Thursday as Cyclone Gaja comes closer to the Tamil Nadu coast.

According to officials of the meteorological department, Gaja now lies over the Bay of Bengal, about 510 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam and 430 km east-southeast of Chennai. It is likely to cross the coast between Cuddalore and Pamban in Ramanathapuram district on Thursday evening, with a wind speed of 80-90 km per hour, and gusting up to 100 km per hour.

S.Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said parts of seven districts — Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram — are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfall. There is a possibility of extremely heavy rainfall, above 20 cm, in one or two places in these districts.

Other parts of the State too will receive rain till Saturday. “The degree of rainfall intensity may vary depending on the distance from landfall region. But, this system will provide the much-needed break from the dry spell over parts of the State,” he said.

On prospects of rain in Chennai, he said the city too will get moderate rainfall from Thursday to Saturday due to moisture incursion.

Holiday for schools

“This cyclone too is unique and variations in movement is one of its characteristics. It can be compared to Cyclone Madi that crossed the T.N. coast in December 2013,” he added. The local administrations in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Puducherry and Karaikal have declared holidays for schools and colleges. Pondicherry University has postponed examinations at its affiliated colleges. The Cuddalore administration has also declared a holiday for schools in the district.

Weather bloggers also note that Chennai will experience intermittent spells of moderate rainfall from Thursday. R.Pradeep John, who runs the blog, Tamil Nadu Weatherman, said there is a possibility of rain of upto 15 cm spread over three days in Chennai. Areas falling in the path of the cyclone that will move to the Arabian Sea will also see rain. Interior parts such as Kodaikanal and Dindigul would also have rainfall on Friday and Saturday.

Highlighting similar cyclones that crossed delta region, Mr. John said there were five such cyclones that crossed delta region in the past 25 years that brought in heavy rainfall. This system is a fast moving one compared to the earlier systems and can bring extremely heavy rains in one or two places of delta region. The recent cyclones — one in 2000 and the other in 2008 -- that brought extremely heavy rainfall in a single day.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 2:08:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/gaja-expected-to-strike-today/article25499869.ece

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